The Wires

Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President reflected on the significant progress made by this country in 2014, and in the nearly six years since he took office":

The Ledes

Saturday, December 20, 2014.

New York Times: "The United States transferred four detainees from the Guantánamo Bay prison to Afghanistan late Friday, the Defense Department announced Saturday, fulfilling a request from the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, in what officials here characterized as a show of good will between the United States and the government in Kabul.The four men are not likely to be subjected to further detainment in Afghanistan, an Obama administration official said."

New York Times: "In an apparent targeted killing, two police officers were shot in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon by a man who later fatally shot himself in head, police officials said."

Reuters: "Dozens of protesters were arrested on Friday in Milwaukee when they blocked rush-hour traffic on a major highway to protest the killing of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer this year. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department took at least 73 adults and one minor into custody during the protest that blocked Interstate 43, which runs through the city, according to the department's Twitter feed."

Public Service Announcement

Surprise! December 19: Dr. Oz is a quack.

Washington Post, November 21: Learn how to use your thermostat & save $$$.

New York Times, November 17: "For the first time since statins have been regularly used, a large study has found that another type of cholesterol-lowering drug can protect people from heart attacks and strokes."

White House Live Video
December 19

1:30 pm ET: President Obama holds a press briefing

If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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ABC News: "After more than 20 years together, music icon Elton John and his partner David Furnish are married!... A law passed earlier this year in England allow[s] same-sex marriage...."

A former resident of Somerville, Massachusetts, calls into outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick's last regular monthly radio call-in show:

Sixteen times Stephen Colbert broke character on his show. With videos. ...

... Winger John Hinderaker of Powerline has never seen Colbert's show, but he's pretty sure it was an hour-long ad for the Democratic party. "I am not in favor of restricting anyone’s right to free speech, but if federal law is going to bar a businessman from contributing enough to buy more than a minimal amount of television time on behalf of his party or his candidates, why shouldn’t Stephen Colbert and Comedy Central be prohibited from airing millions of dollars worth of pro-Democratic Party propaganda?" CW: Evidently, Hinderaker has not heard of Fox "News."

Los Angeles Times: "A hashtag about asking police officers questions for a CNN panel turned extremely negative almost as soon as it was posted Tuesday. #AskACop was meant to be used by viewers who wanted to tweet questions to officers for the town hall segment "Cops Under Fire,” hosted by Don Lemon. There was an overwhelming response -- most of which were criticisms toward police." CW: Apparently CNN had no idea people were pissed at the police.

Bill Carter of the New York Times: "For nine years, Stephen Colbert has relentlessly maintained his pompous, deeply ridiculous but consistently appealing conservative blowhard character on his late-night show, 'The Colbert Report' — so much so that when he puts the character to rest for good on Thursday night, he may have to resort to comicide. The Grim Reaper is his last guest."

New York Times: "Life on Mars? Today? The notion may not be so far-fetched after all. A year after reporting that NASA’s Curiosity rover had found no evidence of methane gas on Mars, all but dashing hopes that organisms might be living there now, scientists reversed themselves on Tuesday. Curiosity has now recorded a burst of methane that lasted at least two months. For now, scientists have just two possible explanations for the methane. One is that it is the waste product of certain living microbes.... It could have been created by a geological process known as serpentinization, which requires both heat and liquid water. Or it could be a product of life in the form of microbes known as methanogens, which release methane as a waste product.... The scientists also reported that for the first time, they had confirmed the presence of carbon-based organic molecules in a rock sample. The so-called organics are not direct signs of life, past or present, but they lend weight to the possibility that Mars had the ingredients required for life, and may even still have them."

"Oh, God, It's Mom." Kelly Faircloth of Jezebel: "Oh my Lord, shut it down, here is the greatest moment in the history of C-SPAN: A (very Southern) mama called into one of their shows to yell at the guests. Not because she disagrees, but because the guests are brothers and both her sons and she is sick and tired of their shit":


Escape from Alcatraz. Live Science: "... on the night of June 11, 1962, three inmates left Alcatraz in one of the most mysterious prison breaks in American history. John Anglin, his brother Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris tucked dummy heads into their bed sheets and snuck into an unused utility corridor through holes they had crudely drilled through their cells. Then, from the prison roof, they shimmied down the bakery smoke stack and climbed over the fence. From the northeast shore of the island, they floated away from the prison on a small raft made from more than 50 stolen raincoats that were inflated with a musical instrument that was converted into a pump. Even the FBI still calls the plan 'ingenious' on its website. After a 17-year investigation, federal authorities concluded that the men most likely drowned during the escape...."

... BUT ...

... The linked story above has a better video, but it's not embeddable.

Rolling Stone: "David Letterman will retire from late-night television on Wednesday, May 20th. The Late Show host's production company Worldwide Pants announced the news, according to Deadline, with CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves praising Letterman’s 'remarkable legacy of achievement and creative brilliance [which] will never be forgotten.'"

Washington Post: "New information from NASA's Curiosity Rover suggests that Mars may once have had large, long-lasting lakes above ground. That would challenge the more popular theory that water on the planet was only underground, or only appeared in a few areas for a short amount of time. The key to this latest theory is Mount Sharp, which stands 3 miles tall and sits in the red planet's Gale Crater. But Mount Sharp is a curious formation: The layered mountain is made of different kinds of sediment. Some layers were probably deposited by a surrounding lake bed, and other seem more likely to be the result of river or wind deposits." CW: Yeah, there was probably once a really well-developed life on Mars with flora & fauna & -- eventually -- little green men who didn't believe in climate change.

New York Times: "After weeks of planning, New York City welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Sunday for a three-day visit, greeting Prince William and his wife, Catherine, with the blend of enthusiasm, sarcasm and bemusing antagonism that tends to tail the urban celebrity tourist."

The Wrap: "Longtime CNN political anchor Candy Crowley is leaving the network."

December 6: Max Fisher of Vox: So two white guys -- guys who will have no trouble finding other jobs -- get fired, & half the New Republic staff walks out in protest. Where was the outrage when Marty Peretz was editor & writing racist screeds? The contrasting reactions speak "to a larger problem of how we think about racism in American society and particularly in the elite media institutions that have badly lagged in employing people of color." ...

... Scott Lemieux in LG&M: "For all its sins [of the past], I don’t see how turning the magazine into another traffic-chaser under the aegis of a CEO who speaks Meaningless Buzzword and apparently lacks the attention span to read more than 500 words at a time is a good thing." ...

... Charles Pierce: "... contra Chait, and even though the magazine unquestionably has regained a lot of its lost quality, especially in its actual reporting, I think the notion that The New Republic is 'an essential foundation of American progressive thought' is a ship that sailed a long time ago." ...

... Zandar in Balloon Juice: " The number of damns I give about TNR as a going concern at this point equals approximately the number of black voices writing for the magazine, which is to say zero, but YMMV."

... December 4 & 5: Dylan Byers of Politico: "Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier, the top two editors at The New Republic, quit on Thursday amid a shakeup that will relocate the Washington-based magazine to New York City, sources there told Politico on Thursday. Gabriel Snyder, a Bloomberg Media editor who previously served at The Atlantic Wire, has been tapped to replace Foer as editor. The magazine will also reduce its print schedule to 10 issues a year, down from 20." ...

     ... New York Times Update: "More than two dozen members of the staff of The New Republic, including several contributing editors, resigned on Friday morning, angered by an abrupt change of editors and what they saw as a series of management missteps. The resignations include the senior editors Alec MacGillis, Julia Ioffe and Isaac Chotiner, and the contributing editors Sean Wilentz and William Deresiewicz, according to several staff members who are leaving. A list compiling the names of those resigning was obtained by The New York Times." ...

     ... AND more from Jessica Roy of New York. ...

... Jonathan Chait: The New Republic has lost its way. ...

... Ezra Klein: "It's a bit early, I think, to write The New Republic's eulogy. Gabriel Snyder, the magazine's new editor, is a smart and web-savvy guy." ...

... Leah Finnegan of Gawker: "Indeed, an entire magazine is now doomed to fail because a white man has been fired and — gasp — an internet-savvy white man has been brought in to replace him! In TNR's 100-year history, I never would have imagined such a triage of injustice. It's clear that the new leadership of the magazine—with all their greasy Facebook money—is dead set on ruining a (historically racist) publication no one ever read in the first place, and was on the slow road to Irrelevance City. What will Chris Hughes do next? Perhaps the publication might even become interesting. Scream!"

Charles Pierce is completely taken with Ed Snowden. He's brave, credible & intelligent, blah-blah, & the film "Citizenfour" is bee-youtiful. For an antidote to starry-eyed Charles, see this review by Fred Kaplan of Slate.

This is quite cool:

 

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Sunday
Jul082012

The Commentariat -- July 9, 2012

My column in the New York Times eXaminer is titled "A Conservative Says Conservatives Are Happier than Liberals." The NYTX front page is here.

Ylan Mui of the Washington Post: "The implosion of the subprime lending market has left a scar on the finances of black Americans -- one that not only has wiped out a generation of economic progress but could leave them at a financial disadvantage for decades. At issue are the largely invisible but profoundly influential three-digit credit scores that help determine who can buy a car, finance a college education or own a home. The scores are based on consumers' financial history and suffer when they fall behind on their bills." CW: a particularly sordid chapter in the annals of our upside-down moral code: the most vulnerable suffer the most; the perps drive their Bentleys to Rmoney fundraisers in the Hamptons. ...

... Yes, We Still Have Slaves. New York Times Editors: "When companies [like WalMart] force suppliers to slash costs, corners will be cut and workers will be abused. Congress and the Department of Labor need to make sure that sprawling supply chains and profits are not built upon the systematic erosion of workplace conditions and laborers’ rights."

Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times: "In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations. The cellphone carriers' reports, which come in response to a Congressional inquiry, document an explosion in cellphone surveillance in the last five years.... The reports also reveal a sometimes uneasy partnership with law enforcement agencies, with the carriers frequently rejecting demands that they considered legally questionable or unjustified. At least one carrier even referred some inappropriate requests to the F.B.I."

Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post: an April 20 auto crash that killed three U.S. Army commandos & three female prostitutes "exposed a team of Special Operations forces that had been working for months in Mali, a Saharan country racked by civil war and a rising Islamist insurgency. More broadly, the crash has provided a rare glimpse of elite U.S. commando units in North Africa, where they have been secretly engaged in counterterrorism actions against al-Qaeda affiliates."

Jan Crawford at CBS News: "Discord at the Supreme Court is deep and personal after Chief Justice John Roberts' surprise decision to side with the liberal justices in upholding a large portion of the president's health care plan.... This conflict has been brewing for some time. You can trace it back to the first full term of the new Roberts Court." ...

... Jonathan Peters in Slate: "The court has a long and colorful history of leaks that dates back to the mid-19th century. Just like last week, leaks have sprung in the past commenting on a decision soon after the justices released it. Inside accounts of the personal relationships among the justices have long been served up to journalists. Indeed, some court opinions have leaked even before the justices had a chance to announce them."

Philip Caulfield of the New York Daily News: "A member of Jordan's parliament pulled a gun on one of his critics during a fiery debate on live TV last week. The parliament member, identified by the Times of Israel as Mohammed Shawabka, was arguing about Jordan's policies toward the uprising in Syria with a political activist named Mansour Sayf al-Din Murad." CW: maybe it's just as well are Sunday talkshows are just innocuous B.S. with video. ...

... AND, speaking of people who should not be on Sunday talkshows. Ian Millhiser of Think Progress: "On ABC News' This Week this morning, [George] Will resumed his crusade against science, this time trying to blame the record heat wave spreading across America on an ordinary summer.... The fact that Will is so completely incapable of adapting to new information — not to mention his record of printing pure falsehoods -- raises serious questions about why the Washington Post continues to publish him." With video.

In a local newspaper op-ed, Elizabeth Warren pushes the Affordable Care Act & pushes back against GOP plans to repeal it. Via Greg Sargent. CW: why can't Obama be more like Warren?

Your Politico Democratic Scandalette for Today. Alex Isenstadt: Democratic operatives are "stalking" Republican Congressional candidates & taking pictures & videos of their fancy houses.

Where Are They Now? Would you want this guy operating on you? Well, he grew up, so to speak, to be a doctor AND a U.S. Senator. Answer in yesterday's Commentariat.

Presidential Race

** Paul Krugman contrasts George Romney and Mitt Rmoney, presidential candidates. It's a great column. ...

... CW: when my grandmother was a teenager, she came across some papers in the attic that showed the family were descended from English royalty. My grandmother was thrilled and asked her mother why she had never been told of her famous forebears. Great Grandmama sniffed, "Because we don't want to let people know how far down we've come." Well, look how far down the Romneys came in just one generation.

M. J. Lee & Byron Tau of Politico: "Democrats took to the Sunday shows to attack Mitt Romney's foreign financial dealings, drawing attention to the Republican candidate's Swiss bank account to try to promote his wealthy, out-of-touch businessman persona." ...

... Ditto from Pema Levy of TPM, with some good quotes.

Sometimes Ads Work. Susan Page of USA Today on a USA Today/Gallup poll: "In the battleground [states], one in 12 say the commercials have changed their minds about President Obama or Republican Mitt Romney -- a difference on the margins, but one that could prove crucial.... Obama is the clear winner in the ad wars. Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney."

Michael Barbaro & Sarah Wheaton of the New York Times report on Rmoney's fabulous fundraisers in the Hamptons. My favorite vignettes:

Rich People Are Important. A woman in a blue chiffon dress poked her head out of a black Range Rover here on Sunday afternoon and yelled to an aide to Mitt Romney. 'Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P.'

Rich People Are Charitable to the Needy. Ted Conklin, the owner of the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, long a favorite of the Hamptons' well-off and well-known, could barely contain his displeasure with Mr. Obama. 'He is a socialist. His idea is find a problem that doesn't exist and get government to intervene,' Mr. Conklin said from inside a gold Mercedes, as his wife, Carol Simmons, nodded in agreement. Ms. Simmons paused to highlight what she said was her husband’s generous spirit. 'Tell them who's on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!' Over Mr. Conklin’s objections, Ms. Simmons disclosed that a major executive from Miramax was on Mr. Conklin's 75-foot yacht, because, she said, there were no rooms left at the hotel.

... AND Yet Another Marie Antoinette. Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times reports on the events. "The common person" doesn't understand that "Obama is hurting them." ...

... Zandar of Balloon Juice: "On one level, she's right. We're just too dumb to get how we've been mauled economically by people in Range Rovers with East Hampton beach permits." ...

... Charles Pierce: "The people waiting in line to help Willard Romney hand the country back to what they perceive to be its rightful owners simply do... not... care [what happens to other people]. The fact that this is a bad political message is the least of its horrors." ...

... So these people, who also live on Long Island, did not go to a single one of the Rmoney bashes. This documentary airs on HBO at 9 pm ET:

... AP: "Mitt Romney privately raised millions of dollars from New York's elite on Sunday, as Democrats launched coordinated attacks against the likely Republican presidential nominee, intensifying calls for him to explain offshore bank accounts and release several years of tax returns." ...

... Nicole Fuller of Newsday: "About 150 protesters demonstrated outside a Southampton fundraiser Sunday for likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the home of New York businessman David Koch, chanting 'We are the 99 percent' and 'Money out, voters in.'" ...

... Brendan O'Reilly of Southampton Patch: "Two boaters in waters off The Creeks, billionaire Ronald Perelman's 57-acre East Hampton Village estate — where Mitt Romney was scheduled to be present for a campaign fundraiser — were arrested Sunday afternoon when they failed to comply with police orders, according to police." ...

... Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times: "and the Republican National Committee raised $106.1 million in June, a substantial increase in Mr. Romney's fund-raising pace and a sign of the growing competitiveness of the battle for campaign dollars against President Obama."

Sheldon Alberts: "A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama's first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership." CW: what this poll really shows is that Americans think the president has a lot more power than he has. Plus, the questions are pretty loaded.

News Ledes

President Obama speaks about extending tax cuts to middle-class families:

New York Times: "The Justice Department on Monday unsealed the indictment of five people in the killing of a Border Patrol agent whose death was linked to the disputed gun-trafficking investigation called Operation Fast and Furious. Four of the defendants are fugitives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $1 million reward for any information that leads to their capture."

New York Times: "With Spain's borrowing costs climbing again to critical levels, European finance ministers decided early Tuesday to speed up their promised bailout for the country's troubled banks, while also giving the cash-tight government more time to rein in its budget deficit."

New York Times: "Within hours of Lance Armstrong's filing of a lawsuit Monday that sought to block the United States Anti-Doping Agency from punishing him for doping violations it has charged him with, a federal judge in Austin, Tex., struck the suit down, dealing Armstrong a swift and smarting blow in his hometown."

New York Times: "In an unmistakable message to China delivered in a speech from this neighboring country [Mongolia], Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that economic success without meaningful political reform was unsustainable, an equation that would ultimately lead to instability."

New York Times: "President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt on Sunday unexpectedly ordered the country's Islamist-led Parliament to reconvene, challenging earlier decisions by Egypt's most powerful generals and judges to dissolve the legislative body."

Guardian: "Libya's former interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril has won a landslide victory in the country's first democratic election, provisional figures show, defying expectations that the Muslim Brotherhood would sweep to power."

AP: "All six troops killed in a weekend roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan were Americans, NATO confirmed Monday. German Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, disclosed their nationalities at a briefing, but said he could not provide other details about the incident because it was still under investigation. He said a seventh NATO service member killed Sunday in a separate insurgent attack in the south also was an American."

AP: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has given his permission for the exhumation of the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, a top aide said Monday, days after a Swiss institute reported finding elevated traces of a radioactive substance on the late leader's belongings."

Reuters: "Russia's emergencies minister accused local officials on Monday of not doing enough to prevent 171 deaths in weekend floods that raised new doubts about the country's readiness for natural disasters under President Vladimir Putin."

Al Jazeera: "International envoy Kofi Annan has said he agreed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on an 'approach' to end Syria's conflict that would be put to the rebels."

Reader Comments (13)

Marie's column today on the "happiness" syndrome is well worth a read. Yesterday,after I read the piece in the Times that she is referring to I thought how man keeps trying, over and over, to fit us all into categories––trying to make sense of the human condition. It also reminded me of this:

Some time ago my husband and I were discussing the word happy because he had categorized me as as a happy woman. I told him I certainly would not define myself as that–-how could I be truly happy when I was knowledgeable of all the suffering in the world, but that I did have moments of pure joy––Well, he countered, you seem happy to me. I then reminded him of the time when he was waiting for me pool side after we had had a swim and I had left to start dinner and fix our gin and tonics. I put some olive oil in a cast iron pan to heat––left the kitchen to do something else and when I returned the pan was in flames and the flames were scorching the ceiling. Don’t recall how I put the fire out but I moved like someone in a Max Sennett film: Scrubbed down the ceiling, stove and pan–––started all over again–and after the sauce was simmering, got the two drinks put together, put them on a tray and was on my way down to the pool. As I was coming down the stairs, he looked up at me, a big smile on his face and said, “Now here’s a happy woman!” So see, I say to him now, you thought I was happy, but that is NOT what I was feeling. Well, he repeats, you have a wonderful disposition. Now, that’s more like it, I say, so I guess we could call me cheerful, for lack of a better word. We have since made a joke of this–––he’ll say, “Here’s some good news–––it won’t make you happy, but it sure as heck will cheer you up.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

P.S. " The fact that Will is so completely incapable of adapting to new information — not to mention his record of printing pure falsehoods — raises serious questions about why the Washington Post continues to publish him." Not only does George believe global warming is a myth he must be one of those conservatives that rate high on the happiness scale. When you live in your own IDEA of the world, why, by golly, you can be happier than an elephant rolling in sand on a scorching hot day.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Marie,

Excellent rebuttal to a butthead.

I read this tripe yesterday and thought I'd take a crack at it today but your arrows hit dead center so there's no need.

But I have to say that right-wing think tanks certainly try to cover the waterfront, they don't miss any angles; and they make sure to bring a lot of that waterfront fog with them wherever they go. I recall reading another report on happiness by AEI’s cousin in ideology, the Cato Institute. In that study, If memory serves, the gist was that any attempt to identify true happiness was pretty much doomed because of the many conflicting definitions of that quality. For instance, if liberal thinkers tried to suggest that happiness had something to do with food on the table, a roof over the head and a job that paid better than slave wages with no benefits, Cato cast a jaundiced eye upon such frippery as being redolent of income redistribution. A big fat no-no in the happiness department.

But after further thought, they decided that owning a Bentley, a house in the Hamptons and having the type of income one might expect from an executive position at Bain Capital, shall we say, could make one very happy indeed. Especially if such goodies could be enjoyed without having to worry about the little people or civic responsibilities. So, you see? At least according to Cato, money DOES equal happiness.

And according to that calculus, there must have been happiness like you read about this past weekend in the aforementioned Hamptons. Plenty of VIPs vying for special parking privileges, all ready to hob their nobs with Willard the Rat and his new buddy, the big Koch.

And speaking of happiness, Willard, the Kochs, ideology, and money, it occurred to me that Willard, famous for his pliable philosophy about, well, pretty much anything except gays and money, by getting into bed with the Kochs, might just as well come out and put that sign on his head “For Sale”. I read somewhere that Willard was meeting with the Kochs only to try to get them on his side of things. Now who really believes that Willard has the passion, powers of persuasion, moral muscle or ideological authority to sway the Kochs? Not to mention the fact that no one seems to know what exactly IS Willard’s side. The only things he believes in are money and power. Oh, did I mention money?

The better bet would be that the Kochs, in short order, will hold up a big check and make Willard get on all fours, bark like a doggie and beg to do anything he is ordered to do. Then they’ll put him in a carrier and strap him to the roof of their luxury SUV for a trip to the White House, stopping every few hours to hose him down after he craps his pants.

But he’ll be happy. Money will make it so. But no taxes. Never, never, never. Cato says no one will be happy then.

So all those little people out of work, no insurance, no unemployment, no nothing, can watch all of this on the TV that’s about to be repossessed because they don’t get to be happy. If they were moral and all, like conservatives, it might be different.

Anyway, thanks, Marie, for outing the statistics of the other Brooks for the cherry picked mumbo jumbo they are.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Re: I'm so happy my face hurts from smiling. I'm not a happy guy; but I know from personal experience and book learning I'm one of the luckiest men to have ever roamed the planet. I love my fellow kind but I'm a traitor to my species; don't trust'em, never have. My species is busily destroying the Earth without so much as a "What the Fuck?". So before turning to Marie's column I'll wager that the conservative is happier than the liberal because he or she is a selfish turd concerned with only the face in the mirror and little else. The true key to happiness is doing something for someone other than ones self and getting satisfaction out of the deed and nothing else.
P.D. All the women I've had the joy of living with would have handed me my drink and said, "The kitchen's on fire." You went the extra mile, no wonder you are a cheerful person.
"You can't always get what you want. No, you can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes...".

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Count me as yet another happy liberal----especially after learning this morning that Elizabeth Warren raised $8.67 million last quarter, 80% of it from donations $50 and less (yes, I've given a few of those). Marie, get your check warmed up, it's looking good in Massachusetts!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalyban

Calyban: Thanks for sharing this extremely happiness- inducing information about Elizabeth Warren. Here's to Massachusetts!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Re Re: Ok, Finished up Marie's sweater yarn pullout of yet another bit of B.S. from the right. In truth conservatives are happy because they refuse see past the end of their noses. Great, I'm happy for them. The pursuit of happiness is not the same as contentment. I wonder how the datum would read if the question asked was, " Are you content in your own life?"
I have a good friend who invented a medical device that made him a millionaire hundreds of times over. He's a one percenter that has a social conscience. There is nothing he can not have or do. He tells me that the happiest time of his life was when he was in pursuit of his dream. The realization of his dream brought him untold wealth and all the trappings that go with it; greed, envy, spite and jealousy. As my father used to say, "Only morons are happy all the time."

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

@P. D. Pepe & @Akhilleus: I did think about the possibility that "it depends upon what the meaning of happiness is," & I considered it exactly along the lines that P. D. Pepe brings up -- that is, maybe liberals can't describe themselves as "very happy" -- which was the nub of the question in the Pew survey -- when they are aware of so much suffering in the world. However, respondents in the Napier & Jost studies -- which tracked with the Pew poll -- were asked more narrow questions about "life satisfaction," which I think respondents of any political persuasion would probably view thru more-or-less the same lens.

As for George Will, he is a smug, self-satisfied, narrow-minded bastard. I don't think of him as happy. He did express a high level of schadenfreude, however, when the Pew study was published, after observing that "Conservatives are happier than liberals because they are more pessimistic." See, they're never disappointed & they don't put their faith in government. "Liberalism," on the other hand, "is a complicated and exacting, not to say grim and scolding, creed. And not one conducive to happiness." His explanation of the Pew results is worth a read just as a reminder of how distorted conservative thinking can be.

Would George Will actually describe himself as "very happy"? I have no idea. But if being the surliest know-it-all on the teevee & printed page is what makes him happy, then I guess he'd grit his teeth, force the corners of his lips upward and snarl, "I'm very happy."

@JJG: I'd try to put out the fire AND call for help simultaneously. P. D. Pepe sure bests me.

July 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

All you happy libruls remember one thing. Those happy red necks with the happy, ignorant, and poorly informed reelected the worst President in recent history. The same happy groups are ready to elect Willard We will see how happy the ignoramuses will be with a couple of years of Willard and the tea party running things.
Willard will have a ring in his nose and will be yanked around by the wing nuts.
My guess is all those happy conservatives will be whimpering and crying and wondering how Obama did this to them. No red neck ever admits to any failure. Consequently, they never learn anything.
Unfortunately, a few million of us will suffer also and another generation of young Americans will be damaged.
I am not happy and neither should you be. It is written.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

Yes, cheers to Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren and her supporters! Keep the donations coming!

I read the happiness piece and at least got a (rueful) laugh from it. Right now this liberal household is very happy to have power, phone, internet and reasonable temperatures back after a week in climate change hell from the derrecho (new vocabulary word for us) knocked our community--metro Columbus OH--for a loop. The ordeal made me feel almost as much claustrophobia as the presidential campaign. Trying to catch up on my reading while waiting a bit nervously for an estimate from the tree surgeons.

Any good news about Elizabeth Warren is welcome. I find myself more invested in her campaign than Obama's.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralphonsegaston

My Little MSM Expose for the Day (from Video Blogs Cafe) :


Martin Bashir Exposes Luke Russert as Water Carrier for Congressional Republicans

..."In the wake of President Obama calling for the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses making under $250,000 and the Republicans predictable response, which is to claim the tax increase will harm small businesses, MSNBC's Martin Bashir attempted to get his cohort, Luke Russert to admit the Republican leadership was fighting to the 2 percent and the 3 percent.

And he didn't have much luck getting an answer. After asking Russert three times whether he agreed with the sentiment or not, the most Bashir got out of him was some mealy mouthed response that if Bashir wants an answer to his questions, he'd better get John Boehner or Mitch McConnell on his show to ask them himself.

Bashir did get Russet to admit their rhetoric was all spin and talking points, and little more than election year rhetoric to throw red meat to their base, and accuse the Democrats of wanting to raise taxes. It seems little Luke is a whole lot more worried about keeping that access to Congressional Republicans than heaven forbid saying anything that might offend them. Bashir laid that bare when he continued pushing Russert to answer his question on who they were protecting by refusing to cooperate on the middle class tax cuts they're holding hostage for their tax cuts for the rich.

Since Russert is the one from the network with access to the GOP leadership Bashir told him he'd have to "suffice to take the beating." Russert couldn't resist getting in a cheap shot at Bashir about his Michael Jackson interview. Keep it classy there Luke. Russert seems to be learning his lessons well on how to be the next Karl Rove dance partner, David Gregory clone for the network."

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Luke is a chip off the old block. His father's coverage of the Democratic primary in 2008 was a disgraceful display of water carrying for the anti-Hillary crowd. Luke behaves like an insolent puppy, which is just what I can hear Bashir calling him.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralphonsegaston
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